Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo Dies in Husband's Arms

Both CNN and Fox ran various stories on Terri Schiavo’s death and reaction to it. I decided to compare articles that appear to be covering the same aspect of the story so I chose articles with similar headlines. CNN ran their own story with the headline, “Attorney: Terri’s husband cradled her.” Fox ran an AP story with the similar headline of “Terri Schiavo died in husband’s arms.” Many of the facts are the same but there are signs of biases with CNN being more from Michael Schiavo’s perspective and Fox from the Schindler’s. CNN's headline uses "cradled" which implies more of a loving husband than Fox saying that she died in his arms. The opening sentences are dramatically different. CNN has the death as calm and peaceful while Fox speaks of labored breathing and mottled skin. Both sentences are true. CNN's opening sentence is a statement from Michael's attorney. And, from both articles, Terri's breathing was more labored and her skin was mottled. But, CNN and Fox chose how to lead the story and I think that says a lot about their respective biases.

CNN: Terri Schiavo died a "calm, peaceful and gentle death" around 9 a.m. ET Thursday, cradled by her husband and legal guardian, Michael, said attorney George Felos.

FOX: Her breathing labored and quick, her skin mottled with red splotches, Terri Schiavo spent her final moments clinging to one of her beloved stuffed animals. Michael Schiavo was at her side, in the same hospice where he has spent every night since his wife's feeding tube was removed two weeks ago.

Links to the articles:,2933,152120,00.html

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